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Chris Clarke tops the champions

[<<] [>>] by Jonathan Kirby
4th February 2007 (Other News)

Congratulations to Chris Clarke on winning the NZ Open singles, to add to his Australian title.

Congratulations also to Chris and Jenny Williams on winning the NZ Open doubles.

By my reckoning Chris now holds the record for the most doubles championships ever won. He has 9 1/2 British, 1 Australian and 2 New Zealand Open doubles titles. 12 1/2 breaks the record of 12 previously held equally by John Solomon and Bob Jackson.

2007 NZ Open Final

by Jenny Williams
Best of 5. 21 Jan. 07

Chris won the toss.

Game 1

Chris elected to go first. AJ chose blue (U) and black (K)

1. R to east boundary (EB) 9 yd N of C4
2. U to 6in S of C2
3. Y joined to 5 feet apart on EB
4. K shot from A baulk, missing
5. Y: tidy rush to 1; rush back to EB; rush to C2 which hit hoop2, flicked off boundary 3 yards south of C2; took off behind ball in C2, rush to hoop2; (left other ball near C2) rush to EB south of hoop4 10 yards south of partner. Good croquet stroke and rush to hoop3. Leave: NSL U at 4, K on west boundary (WB)
6. AJ shot down from C3 with U, missing to 3 inches west of C4 on south bdy.
7. C rushes to WB, rushes short of 1, grovels through 1 with a rush, puts hoop3 pioneer into wire of 6. Rushes to 3, runs without wire, hits 4 yarder knocking it 3 yards north of 3 - putting hoop in way of takeoff to C4. Croquets ball to north of 5 going to hoop4 pioneer then makes 4 with a rush to near C4 hoping to get a pseudo-cannon - rushes just out of corner getting cannon. In cannon puts peelee 3 yd S of B baulk and about a yard E of end of B baulk. No rush after hoop5, but a great croquet stroke gives a rush on peelee to position. Under hit rush and put peelee in front of jaws. Rush peel after 6 and sent to 2b as pioneer. Rush up after 2b and peeled with a roll getting a rush south on escape ball which was 2yd east of peg, finishes with straight rover peel.

Chris wins +26TP. 1-0 to Chris

Game 2

AJ elected to go first. Chris picks R/Y

1. AJ supershot with K
2. Chris to 6mm south of C2
3. AJ hits with U. (random spectator fact: this turn was the first time a NZer had taken croquet in a NZ Open final in 3 years). Rolls out putting R through hoop2 by 2inches getting 4 yard rush directly south. Cut rushes to short of 1, nice takeoff to establish break -> 4back. Leave: very poor leave putting partner in NSL position at hoop4, rushes oppo ball to east boundary - realises mistake, stops R 5yards north of hoop4 and 1 yd west, goes off EB level with hoop4 such that ball at hoop4 has a shot at it.
4. Chris hits partner from A baulk. Poor rush to 1, takeoff to perfect position, gets K in front of 1 for POP getting 5yd rush to 4, grovels through easy 4. Hits hampered 2yarder. Poor croquet stroke not getting position to rush-peel hoop1. Tried to jaws getting rush to hoop5 - failed to get rush to 5. "hit a perfect take-off which hilled into the wire". Played big scatter scattering partner into the peg where it finished between hoops1 and 2, about a yard closer to 2. Y ends up on boundary about 9yd south of C3. AJ's hoop1 ball still at hoop1, 4back ball at hoop2.
5. AJ misses (target?) from 1 end in north boundary
6. Chris has double with ball+quarter gap with red shooting north - finds gap ending up next to AJ's hoop1 ball.
7. AJ starts break ok. Puts escape ball 18 inches directly south of hoop3. Rushes partner 2 inches directly behind 3. Declines shot to give self angled hoop moving the peelee away from the hoop. Elects to call ref and play irish peel. Peelee goes through, striker's ball (K) ends up in jaws. Plays scatter: K to C3, U to 7 yards west of it.
8. R hits K, over-approaches 1, fails very angled hoop off partner. U hits from hoop2, establishes break. Rush to 4 hits hoop5 pioneer, over hits approach to 4, runs difficult hoop, finishes with double peel.

AJ wins +22. Match score 1-1.

Game 3

Chris elects to go first. AJ chooses R/Y

1. Chris to 9 yd N of C4
2. AJ to 8inches S of C2
3. Chris joins partner on EB
4. AJ hits from A baulk. Rushes to 2 feet E of C2, poor rush on partner to 1, good approach. Grovels through and can't hit anything. Goes off WB level with partner.
5. Chris hits from C2. MSL with AJ's hoop2 ball on wire of 2.
6. AJ takes short lift shot from A baulk with ball from on hoop4. Misses.
7 Chris finishes with standard TP.

Chris wins +25TP. Chris leads 2-1.

Game 4

AJ elects to go first. Chris chooses K/U

1. AJ supershot
2. Chris to max distance spot on EB
3. AJ hit from C3. Rolled up getting rush pointing to west boundary just south of 2. Gentle roquet and lovely take-off. Establishes 3bb. Leave: another roughie: puts black level with hoop6, 2 yards in from WB. Takes off back to partner and misses ending up with hoop1 ball 3yd N of hoop4, and 4back ball on EB level with hoop4.
4. Chris hits in lawn ball, gets rush to hoop2 ball, rushes peelee across after making hoop2 and establishes standard TPO. Pegs out yellow with standard leave with ball in awkward position on east boundary 1 yd N of hoop4, misses C2 by 8 inches south.
5. AJ takes off from C2 ball getting 6 yarder which he hits. Rolls up to 5 yard position at 40deg and took 4.5 yard straight wired position.
6. Chris to C4
7. AJ fails 1 giving Chris a lift.
8. Chris hits, puts AJ to between hoop2 and C2, goes 2 yd north of partner in C4
9. AJ hits, rushing it to 6in west of corner ball, gets good rush to 1, good rush back to C4, decent rush to hoop2, approaches well with good deep reception ball giving rush back to C4 after smashing through to the boundary. Rushes to 5 yards west of C4. Thick takeoff getting a rush to C2, played a decent cut to 4yd south of hoop3. Takeoff, fails 5ft 10deg hoop to un-runnable position.
10. Chris lags down towards hoop4 giving himself 3yard rush to middle of west boundary.
11. AJ to north boundary
12. Chris rushes to 8 yards south of rover, good approach, runs 1 with 3yd rush to R. Rushes rush that partner would go about 4 yards west of AJ's ball, strikers ball took off and hit partner halfway up and rushed to a yard E and a foot S of hoop2 - leaving no playable approach to hoop2. Sends partner deep behind 2 going to AJ's ball, approaches 2 sending AJ's ball towards hoop4. Ends up with R and U wired, so declines angled 4yard hoop, puts black 2 yd east of blue.
13. AJ hits K, plays good croquet stroke to get rush to 3, good rush out and croquet stroke to get rush pointing at 4. Rushes to west of 5 but plays excellent recovery stroke getting good position with a deep reception ball. Finishes.

AJ wins +13OTP. Match score 2-2.

Game 5

Chris elects to go first.

1. Chris to 8 yards north of C4
2. AJ laid duffer 2feet past level with 6 and east of it.
3. Chris hills onto partner, snicking it from corner3. Roll partner to about 7yd south and 5yd east of C2 getting rush on AJ's ball pointing peg high on west boundary. Rushes AJ's ball onto partner and it ends up 3 yards east of hoop1 (moves other ball about 3 yd closer to line of 1 and 2). Defensive spread with partner on west boundary and hoop1 ball on east boundary with rush on AJ's ball to west.
4. AJ misses from A baulk to east boundary.
5. Chris has standard TP: jaws 4back after 3, rush peel after 6, good roll across and just peel after 6, jaws rover before 3back.

Chris wins +26TP.

Chris wins match 3-2.


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